What exactly is an antioxidant?
An antioxidant ingredient helps to prevent harmful chain reactions caused by free radicals, which are unstable compounds formed from oxygen, generated by the functions of the body but also increased by pollution, tobacco and the sun, in particular. Antioxidants are ‘bulletproof’ systems that prevent that oxidation. But if the level of antioxidants is insufficient, free radicals take over and can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer and ageing of the skin. Many scientific studies have looked into the role of antioxidants in the elimination of fat around the area of the stomach and in the prevention of bad cholesterol and other contributing factors in cardiovascular diseases.
So can antioxidants help slow down ageing?
Free radicals accelerate ageing of the skin by damaging the membranes of skin cells and, yes, antioxidants can limit that damage. Vitamin E and vitamin C are both antioxidants that you’ll find in skincare creams.
What about antioxidants in food?
The main natural antioxidants are vitamins C and E, selenium, carotenoids and flavonoids. They can be found in our food, mainly in fruit and vegetables. They can also be found in milk, fish, seafood, meat – and eggs, as an egg yolk contains specific antioxidants that are excellent for the eyes and help to prevent certain degenerative eye diseases such as cataracts. Don’t go smearing it on your peepers, mind. Even better news is that, according to scientific studies, a glass of red wine a day fights against cellular ageing, as well as warding against certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea especially and coffee also contain antioxidants in large quantities. Cheers!